Accentus, Laurence Equilbey – Gounod: Saint Francois d’Assise – Liszt: Legende de Sainte Cecile (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Accentus, Laurence Equilbey – Gounod: Saint François d’Assise – Liszt: Légende de Sainte Cécile (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 39:16 minutes | 374 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © naïve classique

It might be hard to believe that there could still exist a “discographic world first” when it came to the works of Gounod, and harder still to imagine that it could be such a substantial piece as this. And yet… Saint François d’Assise, a little oratorio in two parts first performed in 1891, has remained obscure up until now, to the point that its very existence has proved something of a surprise. And then all of a sudden, in 1996, the manuscript came back to light quite by accident: and here is its first recording, although several recordings had been made since its rediscovery. Gounod’s last oratorio, of rather more modest proportions than Rédemption or Mors et Vita, with its great unity and flavoursome, carefully-tailored archaisms, conjures up both Franciscan austerity and that fullness of sound for which Gounod had such a knack. According to the composer himself: “I wanted the first of the two tableaux to be a musical translation of that beautiful tableau by Murillo showing Christ on the cross leaning over to St. Francis and putting his arm around his neck. The second tableau would be a translation of that fine work by Giotto, The Death of St Francis, surrounded by his brothers. “ Let the listener be guided by his own lights. The album is rounded off with Hymne à Sainte Cécile, also by Gounod, and then Légende de Sainte Cécile by Liszt, written in 1874; and it should come of no surprise that the work is sung in French: it is, after all, the work’s original language.

charles gounod 1818-93
01. Saint François d’Assise, CG. 34: La cellule
02. Saint François d’Assise, CG. 34: La mort
03. Hymne à Sainte Cécile, méditation religieuse, CG. 557 “Ave Verum”
franz liszt 1811-1886
04. Légende Sainte Cécile, S. 5

orchestre de chambre de paris
laurence equilbey, conductor
deborah nemtanu, solo violin
stanislas de barbeyrac, tenor
florian sempey, baritone
karine deshayes, mezzo-soprano